Chelsea apologizes for Kenedy's offensive Instagram posts against China

Brazilian soccer player incurs the wrath of Chinese fans following offensive Instagram posts during the team's preseason game against Arsenal.

Kenedy's posts on Instagram.

Chelsea football club apologized on its official website for Brazilian defender Kenedy's offensive Instagram posts that "hurt the feelings of the people of China".

The 21-year-old posted controversial Instagram posts during the team’s preseason game against Arsenal in Beijing yesterday.

One post was captioned 'Porra China'. In Portuguese, 'porra' is similar in meaning to the 'F' word.

The other post shows a sleeping Chinese security guard with the caption: 'Acorda china. Vacil?o', which roughly translates as 'wake up China, idiot'.

The posts soon angered Chinese fans and netizens, with many demanding the club and the player apologize.

Kenedy later responded on Instagram, denying any racist intent.

"Hello my friends, just wanna say sorry if someone was sad because I used the expression “porra”, was no racism, just an expression…big hug," the player posted.

Chelsea also issued a bilingual statement on its official Weibo account on Saturday night, stating that the club “is very sorry for the social media messages posted by Kenedy”.

“This behavior fell well below the very high standards we expect of our players. Kenedy regrets the posts and any upset they have caused and has apologized,” the club said.

“Everyone at Chelsea Football Club has the utmost respect for the Chinese people, who have been the most incredible hosts and we are extremely grateful for their hospitality,” it said.

Sincere apology

Thousands of netizens replied to the Weibo post, demanding a more sincere apology.

“As a fan of Chelsea, I think the statement is too perfunctory. And there’s no actual punishment…” one netizen replied.

“Please tell him (Kenedy) to apologize sincerely and then get out of China,” another insisted.

During the match against Arsenal, fans could clearly be heard booing the Brazilian player when his name was announced ahead of the game, and every time he came into play with the ball.

Second statement

Later, Kenedy posted a second statement on Instagram in Chinese and Portuguese, asking for forgiveness from the Chinese people.

“I’d like to apologize again here. My offending Chinese people was not intentional. I like China very much and feel grateful for the Chinese people’s warm hospitality. I thank you for your support and hope you can forgive me. I hereby sincerely apologize,” the post said.

Kenedy's second apology posted on Instagram.

Another apology

The club today again issued another apology written in both English and Chinese on its official website, saying it "once again  solemnly and sincerely apologizes".

"His behavior does not represent the entire team and does not align with the club’s high expectations and strict requirements of its young players. He has been strongly reprimanded and disciplined," the club said.

Special Reports